Unbeknownst to me however, I recently learned that some of the park closures, mainly to protect bighorn sheep, have now also been bumped up to the earlier, December 1st date. Unfortunately though, it appears as there has been some miscommunication along the chain of command within the parks service and many of the maps and information that has been available to the public still show the Dec 15th date as when areas like Prospector, Mount Hunt and Static Peak are closed.
Since all of these mountains have nice ski terrain on them, I and many others, often try to get some descents on them before and after the closure (April 1st). And since this year we have had over 150" of snow so far and are currently running with a 60" base, things are prime and above average for early season skiing. Sooooo, after consulting the maps on the NPS website (see thumbnail) and having a friend call the visitor center, both stating the closure as beginning on December 15th, myself and three others skied Static Peak over the weekend. I mean why not...right?
It didn't take long for word to get out that we had skied Static Peak and I was soon informed about the new closure dates via text mesasge, email and Facebook, which I now know can be found on the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance and the Teton Bighorn Sheep Project websites (see thumbnail). Unfortunately, these websites are nowhere to be found when you type "GTNP Winter Closures" into Google, which my guess is probably how most people research this kind of information. Surprisingly (or not surprisingly?), a TetonAT post, "Know Your Range...GTNP Winter Closures", comes up pretty high on the page and I have updated the dates to prevent any confusion. Remember now...don't poach the powder and please respect the closures.
what!? a video here and no pearl jam??
No, people don’t read newspapers, and radio listening is on the decline, so it is important for ambassadors of the sport (like you) that have websites/forums to post need-to-know information like wildlife closures. don’t be afraid to call people out for poaching either, be it skiing in wildlife closure areas, or people snow machining in wilderness areas. thanks again randosteve!
Thanks, Steve for posting this info for the ski community. I agree that bighorn sheep winter closure information needs to be much clearer and easier to find. Hopefully this will improve in the future. During early winters like this, it’s especially important for people to respect the closure dates because sheep (especially young lambs) are already having a tough time.
Yeah the sheep have a tough time. Give them some respect and space. If any of you skiers are thinking of buzzing the sheep with incredibly loud aircraft just to see where they are, maybe hold off.
As far as keeping people informed, what would it cost the park service to staple a laminated piece of paper to a post? Death Canyon and Granite Canyon trailheads would cover most access to any of the closures.
The snowboarder in the vid needs to take a lesson. She is using waaay too much vertical motion with her upper body as well as excessive counterweighting with the back arm. Let the board do the work (the thing is designed to turn, I promise!). Snowboard turns first start with the toes, then ankles, knees and hips. Fore aft movement also plays a role. Your legs should work independently of one another. Think of your front set of toes initiating a heelside turn and your front heel initiating a toeside turn. Use the boards inherent torsional flex to initiate a turn. And don’t forget to use the sidecut to carve a turn, don’t just hop your back foot around to force out a smear turn. Feel it happen once and you’ll be hooked.
Damn I must be bored today.
They will Survive Steve, but now maybe you can have a better understanding the next time someone else does something illegal or in the gray area due to lack of knowledge or information. Example: Last years (snowmobile-skier VS AT skier) conflict on the other side of the hill. However good for you for using this example to, educate and inform the public.
tony…i think the problem, right now at least, is that there is contradictory info out there, so the park doesn’t want one resource to day one date (website?)…and the other (a sign stapled to a pole at the trailhead?) another.
expect to see new signs, with most likely new maps and the new closure stated at the trailheads down the road.
derek…i am unaware of the conflict you speak of. please inform.
Did you cross that snowboarders track. Shame on you.
I guess not the other side of the hill like you were thinking but the one on Togwotee Pass/Dubois last year. It was one of the biggest hit on your site last year.
derek…you mean this one. snowboarder/illegal sledder conflict. yeah…we arn those dudes back to colorado.
bnk…the sacrifices i make to get the footy. 😆
Perhaps you should considered the *intent* of the law rather than the letter.
If the snow is so deep and the skiing is so good, then the sheep are probably struggling no? Maybe there is a flaw in the rule. Maybe is should be written such that the area is closed whenever temps or snow depth reaches a certain depth instead of an arbitrary date. But until then, the conscientious person might observe that the wildlife may be struggling and it may be a good time to give them some space…
Or just say f**k it. Those dumb animals should die anyways. Who needs biodiversity or wildlife? They sh*t on the trails and pack down my pillow lines. I want to chow down some more Micky-D’s, wrap myself in plastic clothing and burn some gasoline blazing up The Pass to schralp the gnar! sick brah! I love myself!
Thanks for making the true closure date available
john…from what i’ve seen, the sheep tend to stay in wind scoured areas and skiers tend to go where there is deep snow. so i don’t see a whole lot of conflict.
btw…i love you too! 😆
I completely agree with your above comment Steve but you are not in America anymore, you are in a National Park. The park officals in no way have to allow skiing within the park boundries and can revoke our ability to do so whenever they want.
To respect these closures is a small price to pay for thousands of acres of world class touring.